Dual Master with Harvard Kennedy School

Designed as a two-year, full-time learning experience for those with seven or more years of professional experience, this dual master programme invites a few selected mid-career participants to take advantage of two premier academic institutions: the Graduate Institute and Harvard Kennedy School. 

Participants will combine a first year of studies in the Graduate Institute’s Interdisciplinary Master Programme in International and Development Studies with a second year at Harvard Kennedy School as part of its Mid-Career Master in Public Administration. 

Similar to a professional sabbatical, the programme will allow participants to study with Graduate Institute professors as they build their global network in the International Geneva context, and then to explore best practices in public service and leadership with a second set of professors at Harvard Kennedy School.

Alejandro Valerio Jiminián, Dominican Republic, Dual Master 2015-2017

Key Features 

  • Earn two master degrees in two years rather than three (had the programmes been taken separately). One degree will come from the Graduate Institute, Geneva, the other from Harvard Kennedy School. 

  • Take advantage of two premier institutions, one with a focus on global affairs, the other on public service. 

  • Relevant for those who come from a tradition of public service, either through work in government or non-governmental organisations, foundations or agencies for international cooperation. 

  • Opportunity for a mid-career change, to invest in developing transferable skills for a new career path.

The Dual Master Experience


Year One: The Graduate Institute, Geneva Experience

Immerse yourself in the global development context of International Geneva. 

The Graduate Institute is located in the United Nations district, surrounded by many of the world’s most influential multilateral institutions and international organisations.

The master programme allows you to return to formal learning with broad exposure to international affairs and development through an interdisciplinary curriculum. Participants in these masters will also choose one specialised topic for their thesis project, to develop expertise on a selected issue of their choice.

Participants in the Dual Master join the Master in International and Development Studies at the Institute for this first year experience.

During year one, participants will also benefit from the Institute’s public lectures and seminars.  The Graduate Institute hosts about 100 public lectures, panel and roundtables each year, bringing influential leaders to campus.

Year Two: The Harvard Kennedy School Experience

Participants advance to Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, Mass., USA, where they join a new cohort of peers entering the one-year Mid-Career Master in Public Administration.

Credits obtained during this year at Harvard are recognised by the Graduate Institute and will count towards the second year requirements for a master from the Institute.  At the same time, participants write their dissertation under the remote support and supervision of a Graduate Institute faculty member.


Montse Ferrer, Spain, Dual Master 2017-2019
Dawei Wang, China, Dual Master 2016-2018

Admissions and fees


Admissions and Application Deadlines

The dual degree with Harvard Kennedy School is a highly selective programme and is not compatible with a full-time or part-time job. It was developed for outstanding candidates :

  • who have a minimum of three years' professional experience

  • who are admitted by each institution and must meet the eligibility criteria of both the Graduate Institute and Harvard Kennedy School

  • who have followed at least four graduate-level courses similar to those in the MPP core curriculum, including two courses that are quantitative in nature. Qualifying graduate-level courses may include: economics, financial management, international business, international development, management, mathematics, physical science involving math (chemistry or physics, for example), politics and advocacy, or quantitative analysis and statistics.

Candidates must apply separately to each institution, using each institution's application form and within each institution's deadline​ (see below).

As part of our agreement – for those who are offered admission at both institutions – the admission offer by Harvard Kennedy School is then deferred for the one year of study at the Graduate Institute (i.e. securing a place in the HKS programme for the second year).



The Graduate Institute: Annual application deadline 15 January

Decision notification: Mid-March

Contact: admission@graduateinstitute.ch

Access online admission application form and procedure



Harvard Kennedy School: Application deadline 4 December

Decision notification: Mid-March

Contact: admissions@hks.harvard.edu

Access the HKS application procedure here



Tuition Fees and Financial Aid

Students must pay their tuition fees to the institution where they spend their academic year:

Scholarship applications must be submitted at the same time as the application for admission at each institution.